Sunday, November 22, 2009
Ireland followed on from their draw against Australia last weekend with a comfortable 41-6 win over Fiji at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday.
Leinster flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, standing in for the rested Ronan O'Gara, was impressive as he landed five conversions and two penalties on his first Test start.
He picked up the Man of the Match award on his debut, with coach Declan Kidney saying he was impressed by Sextons maturity out there. Fijian coach Glen Ella also praised him.
"I was impressed by Ireland's No. 10," Ella said. "He has a bright future for many years to come."
Fiji proved competitive at times but were outmuscled as Ireland scored five tries. Left wing Keith Earls scoring two, while others came from captain Brian ODriscoll, Rob Kearney, and Shane Horgan.
Despite the significant score margin, ODriscoll said Fiji were better than it seemed.
"One thing I have learned is that you have to grind down sides. That took us 60 or 70 minutes," the captain said. "The days of cricket scores in these sorts of matches are behind us."
Ella also thought the scoreline flattered the Six Nations champions slightly.
"We actually played much better than 41-6," he said.
"Obviously, Ireland are a quality team, they are very clinical. Naturally, we are disappointed but, in saying that, we improved from the Scotland game. We did, however, have a problem competing for the full 80 minutes."